sport

Murphy delight at comeback win

Shaun Murphy is hoping his opponent in Sunday's final of the UK Championship final will be battle-scarred before the first ball is potted.

Friday night saw Murphy produce what he believes to have been his finest ever spell of snooker to reach the title match at York's Barbican Centre, coming from 8-4 behind to beat Ali Carter 9-8.

Mark Davis and Mark Selby are the players vying to join him, and they had afternoon and evening sessions to contest today while Murphy put his feet up across the Pennines at home in Sale, Greater Manchester.

Both Davis and Selby had huge incentives, with Davis at the age of 40 bidding to reach his first major ranking event final and 29-year-old Selby knowing he would reclaim the world number one ranking from Judd Trump should he win.

Murphy carried out his post-match obligations last night before heading home with his manager to clear his head.

"I'm going to just chill out and see those two Marks suffer," Murphy said.

"If the final were to be on Saturday, there's a chance I'd go in a bit buzzed up and a bit over-excited. The fact I've got a day off really helps. We're going to get back to some normal life, do some washing and come back fresh on Sunday."

Carter broke down in tears in his post-match press conference when it was put to him that there was every reason to be proud after a year in which he has reached a World Championship final while continuing to cope with Crohn's disease, the inflammatory bowel condition that also affects Manchester United's Darren Fletcher.

"If I could pay to get rid of it, I would," he said, before emotions took over.

Carter had at 8-4 ahead been a 1/40 favourite to beat Murphy, and it was no surprise he was suffering after letting what looked an inevitable victory slip away.

Breaks of 76, 49, 105 and 78 in successive frames from Murphy forced a decider, which he won in two scoring visits after Carter spurned a match-winning opportunity, missing a red with the rest.

Murphy said: "I don't feel that Ali lost it, I feel that I won it and I'm really proud.

"I was four down with five to play, it's pretty straightforward and you know where you stand with that.

"For the semis of the UK Championships, when I was all but dead and buried, that's got to be my best five-frame spell ever.

"I can't believe that I won the match."

Selby started as favourite in Saturday's semi-final, even though opponent Davis has already knocked out John Higgins and Matthew Stevens.